HC Deb 21 April 1937 vol 322 cc1743-4
44. Mr. Kelly

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air whether he is aware that on i6th February last, eight men employed at Kidbrooke were charged with smoking and loitering; that the case against these men rested solely upon the testimony of one man; that the charge of smoking was subsequently withdrawn; that the evidence tendered against the men was inconsistent; that when brought before the chief equipment officer they had no opportunity of consulting their representatives with a view to the presentation of their case; that they were suspended for two days; that there is a general feeling in the establishment that the men have received unfair treatment; and whether, in all the circumstances, he will have this matter reviewed?

Sir P. Sassoon

My attention has been drawn to this matter. It had already been represented to the Air Ministry by the men's union and had been carefully considered, the conclusion being that there was no ground for reversing the decision of the commanding officer. The men had every opportunity for presenting their case, and I am satisfied that the decision already arrived at was justified.

Mr. Kelly

In view of the discharge of these men and of a good many other points well known to the right hon. Gentleman, will he reconsider this case, as I am convinced that an injustice has been done?

Sir P. Sassoon

The procedure was according to the regulations governing the employment of civil employés at Air Ministry stations; the men had an opportunity of presenting their case, and the Air Ministry has been in touch with the men's union. I do not, therefore, think it is possible to reconsider the case.

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